Wrap the Rainbow: green

Most famously, Stan Freberg does a crit of crass commercialism with “Green Chri$tma$” (green for money, not trees, you see) and i don’t feel the need to repeat something so well known here.

“Green” can mean pot–marijuana, did you know? Taurean J hyperventilates their rap with “Green Xmas.” BLUE ALERT for those who listen to lyrics.

Also lefty leaning are the Elf Cottage Elves, caroling about global warming dangers and what you should be doing with their “Green Christmas.

Anthony McKeon goes radical in Sydney with his “Christmas Song.” It seems to be about going green (the red coke sign behind him is made that other color), but it’s all done through a megaphone. I feel him; i can’t hear him.

Hoping for a Christmas hit, Joe Hammel mines new material: “The Aluminum Christmas Tree” wishes it were green. But then it finds out… that Joe Hammel can’t really sing.

Humor break! mc lars babbles about “Gary the Green-Nosed Reindeer,” a half-brother of Rudolph who is forgotten ‘like President Taft.’ Fortunately Gary does not have a sinus problem, only an overwhelming need to live up to his sibling’s rep. He does. World saved. He has a further screed about the rising temps and CO2 levels with “I’m Dreaming of a Green Christmas.” Meh. A cow?

Better humor!? Awesome Xmas parody band The ’60s Invasion takes on the Lemon Pipers’ 1967 ‘Green Tambourine’ with their “Green Christmas Tree.” My brand of hilarity with ornaments.

If you want the rockabilly sound that only means music, bend an ear to the Unkool Hillbillies, Swedes who make you going to sock the hop, and “Green Christmas.” I think they want you to dance dance dance and not be the color blue. Not sure what else.

Also figuratively unspecific is Martin Novales, whose sweet pop “Green Christmas” seems to include trees and mistletoe and avoid the white. Is it rehab, maybe?

Joining the sentiment, calypso in hand, The Great John L. warbles about his “Green Christmas” from the Virgin Islands. No white! Santa got water in his eye!

“Green Christmas” has in fact come to mean a raging lack of traditional features, like snow. Which can result in some Scrooge-like symptoms, or at least the lack of treasuring close, crowded, family-filled places as outlined by Barenaked Ladies in their mall-muzak friendly pop version, and also as delineated by George S. Irving playing the cult favorite Mr. Heat Miser in ‘A Year Without Santa Claus,’ the 1974 Rankin Bass animated TV special (which had a 2008 sequel featuring Heat Miser and Snow Miser [Dick Shawn]). This fabulous Broadway actor (and voice actor: narrator in Underdog cartoons) owned the often imitated song occasionally known as “Green Christmas.”

Wrap the Rainbow: yellow

I’m done with Yellow Snow as an option for color, partly because that’s not truly a Christmas subject, partly because i covered this last March (12-17).

Winston Foster became popular as vocalist King Yellowman for a while in the ’80s back when we began to identify Jamaica as a marijuana way of life. Learn of his life (again to the tune of ‘White Christmas’) in his “Yellowman Yellow Christmas.” It’s almost like history. While on the subject, i have to mention another better Jamaican interp of a traditional: “The Christmas Song (Yellow Yam Roasting).” I love the effortless joy and whimsy in this non-pro from the MuseFlows posting.

For (a version of) more history, let’s listen to Bob Wills Jr.’s family keeping up homefront morale with “Yellow Ribbon Christmas.” It overexplains a bit too defensively what should be a simple message of faith, hope, and respect for our troops in the angry new millennium.

Yellowman should win the feature here, but i’m more intrigued (if not more enlightened) by the great mystry of Yu-Chia Lin’s “Yellow Christmas.” If it were only in Chinese, i would file it away as exotic novelty. But i dig the chorus “…yellow, yellow…”. And it rocks.

Wrap the Rainbow: gold

Gold is obviously more than a color, it’s one of the honorable gifts. (As demonstrated in Traveler’s “Gold Frankincense and Myrrh.” Rock the casbah, guys!) And it’s the composition of the five rings in that song (not about Hobbits, the other one). Of course there’s that other other song, by Burl Ives, which will also be dismissed. It’s no longer novelty if EVERYONE’s heard it, pretty as it may be. What we need here is an acknowledgement of the essence of gold for Christmas.

At least one, fairly recent, Christmas Carol musical adaptation (by Chris Blackwood; music by Piers Chater Robinson) mentions Scrooge’s “Heart of Gold,” but this song is specially ironical in that his past love, Belle, was hoping he had a nonpareil personality–not an avaricious soul.

Cledus T. Judd gets funky with his rapper alternate parodying ‘Two Front Teeth’ with “All I Want for Christmas is Two Gold Front Teef.” The message is all acquisition and fronting. Cledus really goes for it and i admire you if you can listen to the whole thing

I’d like to feature the grown up music posted by Patrick Higgins entitled “Golden Christmas.” It’s haunting cowboy alt rock and sends me into dreams of lazy, thoughtful Christmas basking. But i can’t tell if the legend is the name of the song, the band, or the artwork/theme. The vocals are background for the plinking and strumming and meld into mood. Beautiful, but vague.

I guess it’s best summed by The Starshine Singers–and i really want to imagine them as wholesome, not drug addled, children–with “Christmas Gold,” a metaphor for the thought of the gifts, not their remunerative values.

Wrap the Rainbow: brown

Is brown a color or an artistic accident? I claim it’s a variant of orange, so here we go:

Strange Italian band Amici di Roland seems to make fun of trash (USA) TV from the 1980s with their mishmash of samples and styles. They are energetic and fun and remind me of fellow novelteer Pete the Elf. So, even though i can’t understand them or tell what’s color-conscious here comes “Brown Christmas.”

As amusing, Ken Jones delivers the toys by UPS proxy, but wants the kids to know “Santa Drives a Big Brown Truck” to the tune of ‘Wonderland.’ Sign here please.

BLUE ALERT – White rapper Wax dubs about your mom and his personal detractors with what he considers a “Brown Christmas.” It seems he means to poo on your joy like he’s a pantsless Santa erupting overhead.

Let’s veer briefly into a more palatable brown and get a bit more suburban white with Dommsn82 improvving on the guitar with his “Chocolate Song (for Christmas).” It’s a brown thing. If that seems too secular, enjoy a taste of choirboy Christopher Trotter singing “Chocolate for Christmas.” Although these foreigners think putting the sweet treet on the tree is okay, i like when they say ‘chocky.’ Well, i have to stop here before i go all foodie on you–we’ll do that another month.

Bottom of the heap here is one of those ‘Rudolph’ redneck rip-offs. A few ‘humorous’ collections to record “Randolph, the Brown-Nosed Reindeer” (Billy Joe Duprix for example) for a lack of momentum-control. Slightly more witty is Mike Sikorsky with “Bradley, the Brown-Nosed Reindeer,” which pulls ahead–not only for superior alliteration–but also for great lines like ‘Unless your name is Rudolph, the scenery never changes.’

Wrap the Rainbow: orange

Orange is not much associated with winter, it being all autumnally marked. But it should be the color of the roaring yule log in the heart-warming hearth.

And it is the color of those things you (used to) get in the Christmas stockings (treats because they were rare for this time of year). Old El Vez will walk you through the idea with his low class family recounting “Orange for Christmas.” It only seems depressing, until you hear the catch in his vocals.

Let’s return to those thrilling days of post-9/11! Chuck Varesco has a dated bit o’ funny about the alerts and state of fear malingering in the air even at our special time of year: “Code Orange Christmas.” Sing-a-long with the bouncing Dick Cheney head.

Wrap the Rainbow: pink

Are you reddish? In the pink? Tickled pink? Let’s see what we can do about that.

Krysta Young takes pink to mean baby, i guess. She sings “Pink Christmas” as a paean to spoiled Disney girly girl princesses. Who deserve happiness and love, ‘cuz they’re so pretty. Gag me with a Barbie.

Gay punk band Slink fairs little better with their shallow party trifle “Pink Christmas.” At least the color designation works for the falsetto beefcake interlude. Tres camp, doncha know.

Asian guitar pickers Apink supply the requisite (Dreaming of a) “Pink Christmas.” A nice bit of blue grass influence, but please to skip.

Much more improved on this melody is Kimberly Cooper’s “A Pink Purple Polka Dotted Christmas.” Reminds me of camp! Uhh, the one with ‘smores, this time.

We’re not getting anywhere fast. Let’s wrap up with the clever, raspy Fran Archer and “Santa Got a Pink Slip for Christmas.” This is the excuse parents use, right up there with Spot is going to a farm upstate. But i feel a waltz step coming on.

Wrap the Rainbow (red)[ironic BLUE ALERT]

Christmas runs the spectrum of blue (Elvis) to white (Bing). And then some.

Colors speak to us in imagery, symbolism, political bent, and all manner of culture. Can it be that novelty Christmas songs come addressed to Roy G. Biv?

Is there a red Christmas?

Betcher ass.

And i don’t just mean the colors of suits and noses and stripey candies…

Although i will allow 12-year-old Zach to sing about his “Red Christmas Sock” because it’s all silly and parody (Toby Keith) and everything i stand for. Toby Tucker does a more down home, dumbed down version, “Red Christmas Cup.” It’s about Christmas (drunken) parties with, you know, those red Solo cups full of trouble (with a brief salute to the troops)!

This is not to be confused with the superior counter-commentary “Red Christmas Cups” about the Starbucks non-religious drink holder outrage. Steve Marshall is a regular new millennial Pete Seger (subtext: not so funny). But let’s get back to Toby Keith: Gestalt being what it is, a million people parodied ‘Red Solo Cup’ with the Josh Feuerstein controversy about Starbucks not emblazoning their merch with Christmas icons like trees (google ‘War on Christmas’ if you must). Trending for the previous week of internet news WCYY goes trolling with its (#5) “The Internet Outrage Song (aka Red Starbucks Cup).” It’s drivetime parody with quips and noises and best-by dates rapidly peeling the relevance off the actual outrage.  And then Justin Tyler Moore is coming to town with his (#4) “Red Starbucks Cup.” He’s clever, but his home movies suck, and is he serious about the verisimilitude of poor singing to drive home the point?! And then Ed Button twists the knife with (#3) “Red Starbucks Cup (Red Solo Cup parody).” Reminiscent of Tom Bodett leavin’ a light on for you, he rails like Ranty the red-cupped reader! And then comes the sermon on the mountain roast from Mighty Joe and his (#2) “Red Starbucks Cup” (karaoke backup!). Oooh, the F-word! A nice parody, but too apologetic by half-caff for a cowboy. And then Noah Rivera trashes up the idea with his Ray-Stevens-worthy (#1) “Red Starbucks Cup.” Hee Haw, he makes that conservative reactionaryism look stupid. Nice coffee twerkin’, fool.

Ashley Dudley takes the cup on a percussive detour with “Red Cup Song” (new tune!) letting us know that Jesus likes red. So there. A paler shade of red is Aimee with Starbucks employees helping her out while she reads her “Starbucks Cup Song” (same cup slappin’ tune!) to us. It’s not the same as the others but trills tolerantly multicultural.

Kelly Clarkson brings idols before us with her moody belting of “Wrapped in Red.” Well, i think red is her (killer) mood, but it might be the hue of her oh so fashionable body length sweater.

Also red-minded are Malice in Wonderland. “When Everything’s Red” tells the tale of Christmas love loss. Pretty pouting.

Red Red Christmas” in the hands of Marcel Caroto and Bilo Lawrence apparently means peace, love, out. Red heart = love?! I’m losing the connex.

And–oddity alert–Scottish politics gets a dressing down with Lady Alba’s “Red Christmas.” Keep Google nearby if you want to ‘get it.’

Alessandro Valenti  increases the social commentary with “Red Christmas” (set to the requisite ‘White Christmas’) in which the capitalist system is oppressing the 99% to bloody death.

Snakebite gears up for metal and delivers a sackful of Christian caveats–“Satan’s Hiding in That Red Christmas Light.” What would JC head bang to?

Finally pitching the comedy of ‘in the red’ with overspending, Jeanie Perkins chortles piano bar style “Red Christmas.” Mind the tip snifter, girl.

BLUE ALERT – Let’s get red-faced! Fat slob rock god Kenneth Hister solos his The Freakin’ Zombies song “Red Christmas.” Grrr! Mad!! Swear words!

BLUE ALERT – Playing metal violence for money come Deer Pussy and their “Bloody Red Christmas.” It’s what you’d expect

BLUE ALERT – Leave it to Insane Clown Posse to get messy, gory, bloody, declasse, AND pretty cool with “Red Christmas.” Poetic obscenities.

Christmas Every Day: December (for reals)

Some stalwarts want the Christ back in Christmas, but talking in code has always helped the faithful keep track of who really knows what. December is a wink and a nod to you-know-who you-know-when (and if you don’t, i’m not telling).

For example “The Last Month of Year” is a fine gospel number represented by many great groups. It lets you know when J-Baby arrived. Of the many elevating versions i like the reincarnated Elvis, Chris Isaak, howlin’ on it.

Reverently, Cyndi Lauper (really!) croons to the baby “December Child.” Don’t fall asleep yet….

Obliquely, “One Day in December” takes us around the world celebrating that one holiday. If you don’t the one, Sid the Science Kid can clue you.

Rooftop uses modulated rap to get out his message: “This December” will no longer be camouflaged as a month, it’s about that King of Kings guy.

Taking off The Four Season’s ‘Oh, What a Night’ funny Christian rockers AplogetiX play parodeus with the vagaries of day and year on the Holy Bearing with “December 5 or 6 B.C.” Wry, guys.

More Christian rock from Collective Soul, who feel the need to wrap their questioning search for faith in parable and riddle. “December” rattles about like a prancing pony-led carriage..

Ready to jive, hepcats? Well, The Flashcats count it down to “December 25” set to a happenin’ bit of music you might recognize. This swings a bit more secular… but, baby, it swings! And check out the killer compilation album Mambo Santa Mambo.


Christmas Every Day: December (no really)


Christmas is based on love, so the holiday’s for lovers, dig. Or the converse. (These songs all appeared on Christmas albums.)

Breakups are rough in the cold. Something Corporate is desperate to hold onto love, but wants you to “Forget December.”

Ready to throw in the old love towel, The Matches are convinced “December is for Cynics.” You might pogo out your soul to their message.

Merle Haggard, oddly, has a tale of the hard times and unemployment tearing up the family. “If We Make it Through December.” Way to break the mood, Merle.

Kay Starr takes us back with “December.” Romantic nights when they’re longer, eh?

Mu330’s “December” is decidedly more modern, but still about that special love who is ‘better than crack.’ Dance, ska buddy!

Trying on the Motown, The Sisterhood’s American song-poem wants you warm ’cause “Baby, It’s a Cold Night in December.” Chicka-bow-wow.

Quiet as a blanket of winter snow, Club 8 sings about being close, connected, and cold in “Love in December.” Feels like a holiday.

Norah Jones’s voice gets more of a workout than that piddly guitar during her ode to love “December.”